LaGuardia leads nation in delayed flights: FAA

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The FAA said 61,120 flights...

By Philip Newman

LaGuardia, the nation's most congested airport, accounted for nearly 29 percent of all flight delays in the United States last year, the Federal Aviation Administration’s latest Air Traffic Operations Network report showed.

The FAA said 61,120 flights at LaGuardia — 15 percent of its 392,047 flights — were more than 15 minutes late in 2000, accounting for 28.6 percent of all delays nationally.

Chicago’s O'Hare ranked second worst, with 6.3 of its 908,977 flights delayed, followed by Newark with 37,132 delays, representing 8.12 percent of all U.S. delays, the FAA report said.

Kennedy International Airport’s delay ranking was 11th.

Delays at LaGuardia jumped in the last half of 2000 as the result of congressional passage of AIR-21 legislation, the report said. The new law was enacted to allow unlimited regional flights to underserved airports to increase competition and lower fares for passengers in those communities.

To comply with the law, such regional flights are limited to 70 passengers.

The Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey, to relieve congestion, imposed a moratorium in September on new flights. The FAA then held a lottery in which carriers competed for a limited number of slots to reduce the total number of flights. The PA said the result was a decrease of about 200 landings and takeoffs each day during the lottery’s first two days of operation, Jan. 31- Feb. 1.

In 2000, nationwide worsened by 20 percent over the previous year to a record 450,289 at the nation’s airports, the FAA said.

Although the sheer volume of planes caused most of LaGuardia's problems, runway and taxiway construction and repair also contributed to some delays, the FAA said.

Several other major airports in the Northeast ranked among the worst, including Boston (6th) and Philadelphia (7th).

Atlanta was fourth, followed by San Francisco.

Of the 55 U.S. airports listed, the FAA said the fewest flight delays were at Honolulu (8) and Kalului, Hawaii (1).

U.S. airports with the worst flight delays in 2000:

1. LaGuardia

2. Chicago

3. Newark

4. Atlanta

5. San Francisco

6. Boston

7. Philadelphia

8. Dallas-Ft. Worth

9. Los Angeles

10. Phoenix

Source: FAA

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.



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